Friday, November 27, 2009
The Berluti family has been making shoes since 1895, when Alessandro Berluti, a woodworker by trade, left Italy for Paris to pursue the craft of boot-making. Today, the creative force behind the company (which was acquired by LVMH in 1993) is Alessandro's great-granddaughter, Olga Berluti, a vegetarian who dresses in all white and does not wear leather. Obviously, none of her idiosyncrasies have prevented Ms. Berluti from becoming one of the great shoe designers. She explained to Harry Hurt III for a 2005 New York Times article that "the leather was once alive as flesh and blood, and the death of the cow was very violent. Shoes are the last armor of the modern man, and as such they are a charmed, very physical union of beauty and violence." Additionally, Ms. Berluti began the Swann Club (named for the Proust protagonist) in 1992 in Paris. Members meet to dine and polish their Berlutis with Venetian linen and Dom Perignon in the light of the first-quarter moon. You understand that the light from any other phase is not sufficient.